Soniah Kamal

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'Islam is not Pakistan's religion; Marriage is'

Friday, May 2, 2008

Miss Austen Regrets. What?

"Jane Austen was described by her contemporary, writer Mary Russell Mitford, as the "prettiest, silliest, most affected husband-hunting butterfly ever"
rest here.
In Jane's case the bimbo has brains. Unless the brothers were writing the novels and did not want to be known as the authors of husband hunting drawing room dramas :) Miss Austen Regrets is a film based on the letters Jane wrote to her sister and niece. The film takes us through the romantic ups and downs of Jane's life until her death. I was braced for a corny movie but ended up enjoying it a lot--a smart and plausible script with excellent acting. I especially liked the scenes between Jane and her mother where the mother berates Jane for ruining them by not marrying and Jane reacts as only a caring yet hard headed daughter will: a stoic silence laced with guilt. Of course we don't know if these scenes really occurred but chances are something akin to them must have for which mother won't mutter away if her aging daughter lets a good prospect go even today not to mention especially in that day and age. I wish there had been more scenes between mother and daughter and who knows maybe someone will write a novel or pen script about the two! I wonder, would Austen be blogging today? What would her blog look like, or her facebook and my space page-- pink and grey, yellow and white, would it have stars on it or stripes, or a cat, many cats or a dog, or black boots and henna, and which song would she download first? Would we even like Jane if she was flitting around today as the prettiest silliest most affected butterfly ever: remind you of anyone? Would Austen be writing what she wrote then now or would it be baby versus career and how to juggle the two if she couldn't afford oodles of domestic help? Certainly if she was born in Pakistan she'd still be writing about women for whom marriage is the only career expected of them... though if Jane was Pakistani you can bet her mother would have made sure she married sooner or later because the typical Pakistani mother (imagine Mrs. Bennet on acid) is an expert at guilt tripping her daughters into getting married...


Khalid said...

isnt marriage part of the pakistani constitution someplace? :-)

I'd love to read your (Vikram Seth) thesis. Is it availbale some place?

on Life and Literature said...

have been planning to redo my website and it should be up there when done.
thanx for stopping by

Anonymous said...

HYUK!!! Mrs. Bennet on acid. I'm so glad for this post of yours. I need to update my blog link to you.

Harry Jerry said... the way you write!